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Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 14, 1960: Kennedy Election May Have Hinged on Phone Calls

The election of John Kennedy could have hinged on "a couple of phone calls." It was reported today that President Eisenhower said that was all it took to swing the Negro vote to the Democrats. The president was apparently referring to phone calls that Kennedy and his brother, Robert, made after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was jailed in Georgia. One of the John Kennedy's calls was to Mrs. King. Robert Kennedy called the judge who had sentenced King and persuaded him to release King on bail. Some feared that King could be killed while in jail.

The National Review recently ran a piece entitled "President-Elect Nixon?" It concluded that, "Americans tend to resign themselves easily to political events, and it is notoriously difficult to stir up a sustained demand for investigations of electoral fraud. In fact the prestige of a politician seems never to be hurt even if he is generally recognized to have won -- as Senator Harry Truman did -- thanks to the tombstone vote."

It was reported today that James R. Killian, who served as President Eisenhower's first special assistant for science and technology, believes the nation is spending too much money on space programs. He suggested the billions could be better spent on defense, education and deteriorating urban neighborhoods.

The French Army in Algeria shot and killed to European demonstrators, as protests there continued. To date, 108 Moslems and six Europeans have been killed in clashes with security forces.

In the Congo Antoine Gizenga, who the New York Times describes as a "Communist sympathizer," said he represented the country's lawful government. Gizenga was vice premier under Patrice Lumumba.

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